City Paris, Ontario
Broadcast area Waterloo Region
Branding CBC Radio One
Frequency 89.1 MHz (FM)
First air date 1999 (as rebroadcaster of CBLA-FM)
March 11, 2013 (start of local programming)
April 26, 2013 (officially-licensed originating station)
Format public broadcasting
Language(s) English
ERP 5.0 kW
Class B
Callsign meaning Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Great LAkes
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Sister stations Paris rebroadcasters: CBL-FM-2, CJBC-FM-2
Other Toronto stations serving the area: CJBC, CBLFT-DT, CBLT-DT
Website CBC Kitchener-Waterloo

CBLA-FM-2, operating as CBC Kitchener-Waterloo, is the CBC Radio One station licensed to Paris, Ontario, Canada but primarily serving the nearby Regional Municipality of Waterloo. It broadcasts on the FM band at 89.1 MHz.

Previously licensed as a rebroadcaster of CBLA-FM in Toronto, it began originating a limited amount of programming targeting Waterloo Region and surrounding cities in March 2013.[1]

Local programming

CBLA-FM-2's local morning program, The Morning Edition, hosted by Craig Norris, originates from studios on King Street West in Kitchener and airs weekdays from 6:00 to 8:30 a.m.[2] A Saturday afternoon regional network program highlighting Ontario arts, music and culture, The Key of C, is produced at CBLA-FM-2 and heard on every CBC Radio One station across Ontario on Saturday afternoons (except CBLA-FM Toronto which airs Big City, Small World).


Prior to 1999, the Kitchener-Waterloo area received CBC Radio programming through Toronto's CBL (740 kHz on the AM band), whose city-grade signal easily covered most of southern Ontario. On July 29, 1997, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the CBC's plan to move CBL to FM; this plan included provisions for new or improved rebroadcasters to serve areas that the new Toronto FM transmitter would not reach, including one at 89.1 FM in Paris.[3]

Originally, the Paris rebroadcaster simulcasted CBLA's main-transmitter schedule for most of the day, including during most regional programming blocks. It even carried the Toronto-based Metro Morning on weekdays, instead of the regional Ontario Morning program also produced in Toronto and carried on most of the Radio One rebroadcasters in southern Ontario. However, like most of these rebroadcasters, it carried (and continues to carry) network programming instead of the first hour of the afternoon-drive program Here and Now, and does not carry any other specially-scheduled Toronto-specific programming.

In September 2011, the CBC announced plans to launch a new local radio service for the Kitchener-Waterloo area beginning in fall 2012, as part of the corporation's 2011-15 strategic plan.[4] (The launch date was later pushed back in connection with the CBC's 2012 budget cuts.) The other major city in Waterloo Region, Cambridge, was originally said to be not part of the initial local coverage focus,[5] though this decision was reversed by the time the station launched.[6]

On November 7, 2012, the CRTC published the CBC's application to upgrade CBLA's Paris repeater to a local production centre focused on the Waterloo Region. The application stated that the new station would continue to broadcast programming received from CBC Radio One but would also broadcast a minimum of 12 hours and 30 minutes of local programming targeting Kitchener-Waterloo residents in each broadcast week.[7] There are not yet any indications of the station changing its call sign following the conversion.

On January 22, 2013, the CBC announced that the new radio programming for Kitchener-Waterloo would debut on March 11. Despite CRTC approval having not been received by that date, the launch went ahead as scheduled. As the CBC had previously been permitted to air different program schedules on different rebroadcasters of CBLA-FM (as noted above) it was not obviously clear that the broadcast was improper, even with the conversion application still outstanding. However, in the evening of April 23, 2013, the CBC announced it had been informed that the early launch was in fact not permitted, which it termed an "unfortunate oversight", and that it was pulling the terrestrial broadcasts of The Morning Edition and other separate Kitchener-Waterloo programming until the new licence was fully approved. In the interim, local programming continued to be produced for Internet streaming, but 89.1 FM reverted to a rebroadcaster of CBLA-FM.[1]

Two days later, on April 25, 2013, the CRTC formally approved the CBC's application for the new Paris station, with its licence replacing the repeater licence used for CBLA-FM-2. However, it retained a rebroadcaster-like callsign.[8] Over-the-air broadcasts of Kitchener-Waterloo local programming resumed the next day.[9]

CBLA-FM-2's studios in downtown Kitchener


  1. 1 2 "CBC temporarily takes KW morning show off air". CBC News. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  2. "CBC launches new Waterloo Region station March 11". CBC News, January 22, 2013.
  3. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (1997-07-29). "Decision CRTC 97-362". Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  4. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2011-09-26). "CBC to introduce new local service to Kitchener-Waterloo". Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  5. Rubinoff, Joel (2011-09-27). "CBC to expand radio and internet presence in Kitchener and Waterloo by fall 2012". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  6. @CBCKW891 (2013-03-03). "@Paddy_Mack We will absolutely cover the entire region - Cambridge included. Our name reflects where we are based geographically. ^pr". Twitter. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  7. Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-616, CRTC, November 7, 2012
  8. Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-203, English-language FM radio station in Paris and licence amendment for CBLA-FM Toronto, CRTC, April 25, 2013
  9. Baluja, Tamara (2013-04-25). "CBC Kitchener Waterloo Morning Edition back on air Friday". J-Source.ca. The Canadian Journalism Project.

External links

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